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Thread: Dog training problems and related issues

  1. #21
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    Default What a great thread!

    Bella, my almost 3 yr old Doxie/Bichon mix barks every time someone comes in the house. The kids know I'm home because she & our other dog run to the front door, but they don't bark.
    The problem is when someone, already known to them (kid's friends etc.) comes inside. Bella barks at them then runs over to me and sits right in front of me. I think she is protecting me and maybe asking me to protect her. But the barking is ridiculous-- there is no danger, and I am not acting in any way like there is any threat. Any ideas? TIA
    ~Kate

    Mary is the Mother of Jesus and the Mother of all of us even though it was Christ alone who reposed on her knees… If he is ours, we ought to be in his situation; there where he is, we ought also to be and all that he has ought to be ours, and his mother is also our mother. —Martin Luther, Christmas Sermon, 1529.

  2. #22
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    Yep, she's probably "claiming ownership" when she does that! With most dogs, that's not more than an annoyance, fortunately. However, I firmly believe dogs shouldn't be annoying!

    What does she do AFTER she sits in front of you, though? Does she quickly adapt and relax, or is she "guarding" you the entire time someone is there? If she quickly settles down (and I teach all my dogs "Hush" or "quiet"... it can take awhile, but with treats and consistency, they DO learn to quiet down when I say) and stops "guarding" you... it probably isn't a big problem. In essence, she's "informing" you that there is a "stranger" in the house.

    What I would do (if it's a transient thing) is to basically reassure her... a quick pat and a calm statement that "yep, I see! Dustin is here... that's ok, it's allowed" (or similar statements) and then walk away from her. If the visitor is a frequent visitor and you want the dog to accept their presence, have them offer her a treat when they first come in.

    To a certain extent, this is normal... our dogs do learn to accept very frequent visitors (our hired kid, for example) coming in without barking... but if that door opens and "the family" is all inside, they WILL bark, even if it turns out to be someone they know well.

    And some dogs are just dumb... we had an Aussie cross who would bark at US if we were wearing a different hat.. and she never did learn our truck! Once she figured out it was "us", she shut up and was fine.

    Oh, and the working dog command "that'll do" is immensely useful for any dog. In herding dogs, it means "stop what you're doing and come to me" (work's over). I use it when they are barking, for the same command.

    The first "trick" in training (and very useful in puppies, where "training" is sort of limited to keeping things out of reach while they grow up!) is DISTRACTION. When a pup is getting into something he shouldn't, you don't discipline them... you find a toy and offer it in place of the shoe or whatever they found. At most, you use a mild scolding, while replacing the object: "no shoes!!".

    If one of ours doesn't want to stop barking, I'll use the "that'll do" command... but then will offer a treat or a toy to get their mind on something else. Sometimes it can be tricky to find the half second "quiet" time to reward... but it will come, so be ready to offer the treat as soon as they shut up!

    Summerthyme

  3. #23
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    thanks, Summerthyme, I'll try your ideas. I like the "that'll do" command idea. thanks!!
    ~Kate

    Mary is the Mother of Jesus and the Mother of all of us even though it was Christ alone who reposed on her knees… If he is ours, we ought to be in his situation; there where he is, we ought also to be and all that he has ought to be ours, and his mother is also our mother. —Martin Luther, Christmas Sermon, 1529.

  4. #24
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    Oh, and Davy? You DO have newspapers or puppy pads or SOMETHING down for Molly to "go" on when she simply can't hold it, right?

    If not... do it now! It came to me last night what was missing in your post... pups WANT to be "clean", and not mess up their home, but they just don't have the physical ability to do it. Having an area where you can leave newspapers that the pup can access when needed lets her be "good" without having to be "all grown up"- which she can't be yet!

    What we've always done when housetraining is put a pretty good sized area of multiple layers of newspapers... if the pup messes anyplace else but on the papers, we take them TO the papers and explain that's where the mess belongs. (When you change the papers, leave a SMALL bit of wet paper on top of the fresh ones... it will "mark" the area).

    Then, once the pup has it figured out, we start making the papered area smaller. Usually by the time they're 16 weeks or so, they'll be pretty reliably house trained, with possibly an occasional accident when they "misjudge" when they needed to ask to go out.

    Oh, and if you're not, start using the same words... I use "do you need to go out?" (although "go out" is probably all they are responding to)

    Dixie will "nudge" me when I'm on the computer... some of the time she's just saying "ok, you've been on there long enough! Pet me or come play with me!"... but some of the time, she's asking "let me out". When I ask "do you want to go out?" If she does, she immediately walks to the kitchen door. If she doesn't, her head stays firmly planted in my lap!

    But of course, "go out" also means "you're going to go out now" when I want the dogs out of the house. You might be surprised at how many words even an average Border Collie can learn! Red knows "take them to the kennel"... by the time her pups are walking, she'll lead them all to the kennel every morning on command. It's pretty darned cute... a whole wobbly puppy parade following her.

    Now, she doesn't always WANT to go into the kennel, but she knows what it means, and she DOES go in even when she's reluctant. (of course, she gives us "the look" first!! You know, the one that says "you are SO mean!"? LOL!)

    Summerthyme

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Summerthyme View Post
    Stubborn

    Headstrong and willful

    Sitting in high places, looking down on everything

    Barking or whining at humans which many owners consider "talking" (without a command to do so).
    You have to know your breed. These characteristics listed in the OP as undesirable describe the behavior of a good Livestock Guardian Dog. Here's an article about LGDs:

    http://americanpreppersnetwork.com/2...and-flock.html
    IF you are willing & obedient , you shall eat the good of the land: But if you refuse & rebel, You shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it. Isaiah 1:19, 20

  6. #26
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    I have not used papers.
    She thinks they're quite fun to rip into little pieces
    Plato once said, “Wise men speak because they have something to say. Fools, because they have to say something.”

    "Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." "Men willingly believe what they wish to believe."
    Julius Caesar

  7. #27
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    Ah... yes, that can be a problem. You might want to find some "puppy pee pads" and use them... and get after her if she starts tearing them up. (ok, by "get after", I mean "scold firmly, and distract with a toy to chew on instead")

    They really *can't* "hold it" for long at her age, and it will prevent her from trying to "hide" it from you, because she clearly already knows she's not supposed to poop or pee on the floor!

    Summerthyme

  8. #28
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    Summer, what can I do about an uncut male dog who has a problem with submissive urination? If you go to pet him, he'll pee all over your feet.

  9. #29
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    Miradus... how old is he? Did you have him from a pup, or adopt him as an older dog?

    I've seen dogs like this, but haven't ever had one.. we did have an Aussie/BC cross once who could have turned into a "fear biter" because she was extremely timid, but at least she didn't start dribbling if you looked at her wrong, or paid attention to her!

    Are there any times he doesn't do it? Or times it always happens?

    Summerthyme

  10. #30
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    I think Molly is dyslexic or left-handed.
    Or maybe she is like Bizarro, Superman's villain

    She seems to enjoy doing things the opposite way.
    We tried to get her to help us put the chickens away at night.
    But, she would scatter the flock so they ran away from the pen.

    As far as housebreaking...
    We take her out and she finds enough amusement and distractions that she doesn't go.
    When we come back in, within minutes sometimes, she tinkles and gives us doggie dumplings on the floor.

    Of course, I remember my son was hard to housebreak too.
    he finally got measles or chicken pox and we took the diaper off and left only a tee shirt and made sure he knew not to go anywhere but the potty.
    That worked.
    Do you think if I put a tee shirt on Molly I'd get the same result?
    Plato once said, “Wise men speak because they have something to say. Fools, because they have to say something.”

    "Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." "Men willingly believe what they wish to believe."
    Julius Caesar

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